Apple Lossless Audio Codec File
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What is an ALAC file?
An ALAC file is an audio file encoded using the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC). Most likely, it contains a song meant to be played in Apple iTunes or Apple Music. More commonly, ALAC files use the .M4A extension.
In 2004, Apple created the Apple Lossless Audio Codec. Like FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), ALAC is used to losslessly compress audio files. However, ALAC-encoded files typically have smaller file sizes than FLAC-encoded files (created from the same audio).
Primarily, Apple music applications, such as Apple iTunes and Apple Music, use ALAC to losslessly compress and deliver audio to users. However, because ALAC is just a codec, and not an audio container format, these ALAC-encoded files are typically saved as M4A (MPEG-4 Audio) files. If a file uses the .alac extension, it is likely a misnamed M4A file.
How to open an ALAC file
You can open an ALAC file with Apple Music (Mac), Apple QuickTime Player (Mac), Microsoft Windows Media Player (Windows), or VideoLAN VLC media player (multiplatform). Before doing so, you may have to change the file's extension to .m4a, so your media player recognizes the file as an MPEG-4 Audio file.
How to convert an ALAC file
Remember, you may have to change your ALAC file's extension to .m4a before you can open it in VLC or Audacity.